Your plain-english guide to 2017’s most exciting software p50
Few programs in recent years have proved as controversial – or as popular – as Kodi. On one level it’s a brilliant music and video player, letting you stream content between computers. If you connect your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable you’ll also be able to access and watch everything on the big screen of your television.
Kodi – known as XBMC until 2014 – also excels at online streaming. It gives you access to all kinds of add-ons that expand its basic features, so you can watch Youtube, iplayer, out-of-copyright movies and a whole host of other video content straight from one convenient location. In addition, you can listen to hundreds of radio stations from around the world, view all your photos and stream podcasts.
Advanced users should consider installing custom builds to transform Kodi’s features. This adds more ways to watch and listen to your content.
All this is perfectly legal. But some developers have built add-ons for it that let users stream copyrighted material, such as films, TV shows and even live broadcasts of football matches. Copyright holders aren’t happy. Indeed, the FA is exploring how it can exercise new powers granted by the High Court to block illegal streams. Kodi itself is planning legal action against people selling TV boxes with the software pre-installed, and the police are cracking down too. In February they arrested five people selling Kodi boxes.
You won’t find advice on where to buy these boxes in this feature. Instead we’re focusing on what Kodi was originally built for – organising and watching your media files, and discovering legal content to watch online. Read on and we’ll explain how to install and use the latest version of Kodi (called Krypton) and how to add all your videos, music and photos. We’ll also reveal our favourite add-ons, and explain how to install Apollo, one of Kodi’s best custom builds. All you need to do is sit back, press play and enjoy.